More than a Margarita: Pepino el Toro with Mezcal

Pepino el Toro Mezcal Cocktail (Created at La Loncheria)

Pepino_El_Toro_Mezcal_Margarita_Cocktail - Wine4Food

It’s the time of year when you start to swap out your darker liquors for something a bit more festive and bright.  Margaritas are a natural choice, but too much of the same thing can get a little old.  Enter Pepino el Toro.  This cocktail gives the classic Margarita a twist and a boost by using Mezcal and adding a little natural fruit purée to sweeten instead of a sugary sour mix.

Purée:
½ cup Pineapple, chopped
½ cucumber, peeled, chopped      

Cocktail:
2 ounces house-made pineapple and cucumber purée*
1 ½ ounces Pelotón de la Muerte (a semi-sweet mezcal)
½  ounce lime juice
Chili salt for rim (or other sea salt or store-purchased margarita salt)

Directions:

To make purée, place one-half cup chopped pineapple and one-half peeled and chopped cucumber into a blender and mix at high “purée” speed until liquefied. (Note: This can also be a delicious and refreshing non-alcoholic juice all on its own when served over ice.)

Pour chili salt onto saucer-type dish.  Coat the lip of your margarita glass using a lime wedge.  Turn glass over and dip the lip into the chili salt mixture on the plate, move around until the lip is fully coated.

Fill a shaker with ice. Measure and pour all ingredients into the shaker. Shake well. Strain and pour entire contents of shaker into glass. Enjoy!

Image Courtesy of Katie Burton